HAVOC win GLOSS 2022 We retain trophy for the fourth time in a row
Team HAVOC take the GLOSS series by storm
It was 2016 the last time HAVOC haven’t held the GLOSS trophy. This year it was tough, and the destination of the trophy was up for grabs until the final race in Addington Hills. We had got off to the best possible start at the CHIG event in Claybury, taking the win. It was then over to Horton Country Park, for an event that mixed easy running up a fairly straight track with the controls fairly close by, and a tricky return through some tough areas of vegetation. MV won their home event, and we could only manage 4th, but the way the results from the first two events fell, we were still in the lead. Our home event was next up, and it was very close at the top. In the end, after some recalculations of the results, we could only manage third, and dropped behind DFOK and LOK who tied in the event. Gunnersbury Park was next up, and though we could come nowhere near hosts, SLOW, an incredible second place saw us regain the lead in the series, and set up a barnstorming final round. It looked like first or second would give us victory there, although if DFOK won, we would actually lose out on the first tiebreak.
Fire had raged in the area as the heatwave took a grip of the country. The event went ahead though, and with six clubs fielding a full squad it was all up for grabs. The course was probably the most physically challenging of the series. Up and down the steeply sloped ridges, through areas of high grass and forests. We started on masse, near the beginning of the start window, every other starter was from team HAVOC. But the courses were pretty tough. It needed careful navigation to avoid mistakes. Discussions in the car park after the event revealed most runners from HAVOC were not very confident in their times. From multiple small mistakes, to several major errors, to just a series of difficult legs and runs, morale in the HAVOC team was low. There were some bright spots – Dale put in a storming run, Mike was fairly clean round the course. But could we get the six runners needed? I had managed to fail again – missing the last control. Guy did the same. Barbara had a tough time out on the course, Chris Shaw and Paul were under their target time. Charlie got his standard ratio (a shame as his time was pretty good). But, the thing about this series, is the fact that HAVOC has more runners than most other clubs. We have the ability to make up for these errors and disappointments. We can rely on others to take the slack. Dale’s run was good enough for second on the day. Mike had the 9th fastest raw time, and only dropped down to 13th on handicap. Jenny came in at 16th, and Janet finished her superb series with a place in the top 25. It was all very close though – SLOW, MV and SAX were all ahead of us after four runners. DFOK then got their 4th and 5th runners home. A win for them and it was all over. They had their top scoring Danni Angelova still out on the course. In the end, she retired, and that probably made the difference. Graham Batty matched his target time, and when Colin Jackson came in with a score good enough for 39th, the trophy was ours.
MV ended up winning the event, and we were best of the rest. Just. But this time, just was more than enough. The final table sees us 2 points clear of DFOK, 3 of LOK and 4 from MV. We had more runners than any other club over the series. And that, probably, was the key this year. By having enough runners to keep our top 6 each week over the default runners, we were able to overcome any poor runs from our club runners. We only won one event this year, and could only manage third in our home event. But, strong results in the SLOW and LOK events, both a long way from home saw us take the trophy for the fifth time in a row. Yes, you read that right – the FIFTH time in a row.